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Thread: Remember Irina's Tosca fron 2002?

  1. #1
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    Remember Irina's Tosca fron 2002?

    How would you compare hers with Michelle? Irina took silver at SLC with her Tosca and her first Gold at Worlds.

    I loved Irina's Tosca, Michelles version was very stripped down.

    Still she is the best competitor out there, as many have said.

  2. #2
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    I think their intepretations are too different to really compare.

    Irina seems to have a more literal intepretation of Tosca and playing the character from the opera.

    Michelle to me has always been more abstract. Even when she skated to Carmen, MK made it known that she wasn't skating to the character of Carmen but her fate (whatever that means, lol).

    I think MK's Tosca was to show the angst and drama and intensity of the music rather than playing a character of the opera.

    In terms of competitive programs, although I do think MK should add more choreography to this program, Irina's Tosca wasn't jam packed with in-betweens either. MK's Tosca had non-stop movement, and what really impressed me and it seems no one else really noticed, was that although this program makes MK constantly move with no stops or pauses, she was stronger at the end of the program than she was at the beginning. Talk about stamina!!
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 01-11-2004 at 03:33 AM.

  3. #3
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    I agree that Irina's and Michelle's interpretations of Tosca make it very hard to compare them directly, but I enjoyed Irina's Tosca more, for the following reasons -

    - I felt that Irina's Tosca was a huge step forward for her, in terms of answering previous criticisms about her presentation. The first time I saw this program from Irina I felt like she was taking risks, challenging herself to do something outside of her comfort zone and I was very impressed. Dick and Peggy didn't like all the head grabbing, but I felt her interpretation of the heavy music was quite enjoyable.

    - I've only seen MK's Tosca twice, and the first time (the cheesefest from December) I totally hated it. I felt that Michelle was really skating to different music and the TV station had piped in Tosca as a joke. The changes that were made for Nationals made it much better, and Michelle connected to the music much better, but there's still a distinct lack of choreography going on. Despite my complete joy about MK's win at Nat'ls and my opinion that she filled out the program as much as she could, I think this music was a mistake for Michelle. She succeeded tonight despite this program. JMO

    guinevere

  4. #4
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    VIETgrlTerifa,
    Great point about Michelle's endurance. Not to say, "Oh, I noticed it too!" but I did notice it because I had it on my mind. You know me and my interest in and background is sports physiology (annoying, I know, lol), so knowing that Atlanta has the second highest elevation of any major US city, 1,010 feet above sea level, I wondered if the skaters would have problems in their LPs.

    Re Michelle, she has been training up at Lake Arrowhead, which is almost 5,200 feet above sea level. This is great for an athlete's endurance and really increases the body's ability to absorb and use oxygen. For this reason, especially endurance athletes such those who do long distances, purposefully train at high altitude to prepare for competition. Michelle has always had excellent endurance, but tonight I agree that she was especially strong at the end. She was flying across the ice for about the last minute and the power and emotion in her movements just got stronger and stronger. Whether training at Lake Arrowhead was done intentionally to prepare for the altitude in Atlanta, because that's where Artunian coaches, or for some other reason, it was training that ended up being sort of the "icing on the cake," because it enabled Michelle to have energy to spare at the end of her magnificent performance.

    But you noticed it AND brought up the point. Wish we could add you to the commentators, I you've got a great eye

    As for comparing Irina and Michelle's "Toscas," I'd have to look at a tape of Irina--one of her better performances--but actually, I don't know if I could compare. I love both skaters--Michelle hooked me last season and with this Nationals she completely reeled me in, lol--and I feel as if it would be comparing apples and oranges. I agree that Michelle's "Tosca" was more about the emotion of the music and Irina's was more about the emotion of the character. But I think Michelle is clearly the better skater and If both were in top shape and landing all their jumps, I'd go with Michelle--but I'd hate to have to choose.
    Rgirl

  5. #5
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    This is a good point to ponder. It doesn't really matter to me so much what music the skater is skating to, that's background noise. I key in to the elements, the power, the emotion, the artistry. If a skater tries to "become" the music, or the character from a movie or opera, to me, that can be distracting or even comical at times (pro skating excepted, because they're suppose to entertain).

    As to Irina's Tosca vs. Michelle's, I always thought Irina's excessive movements in her Tosca was a distraction from her marvelous skating. Although Michelle did lack choreography (something I am guessing she'll tweak before Worlds), the music of Tosca became a "backdrop" to her performace. My take on it anyway! 42

  6. #6
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    When I first heard that Michelle was going to be skating to Tosca, I groaned. Because Irina ruined that piece of music for me forever, I thought. Irina's flailing arms, awkward positions, hair pulling and over-emoting made me cringe every time the music started. But Michelle brought tears to my eyes last night with her interpretation and now I have something beautiful to associate with Tosca again. I tend to agree that Irina was doing the ballet and Michelle was simply using a beautiful piece of music.

  7. #7
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    interesting comparison!!

    Wow Irina's and Michelle's Toscas are different and hard to compare. I'd say that Irina is doing more of a literal Charater protryal of the Tosca Character, with a suicide ending, complete with head grapping and in-betweens. Michelle is totally abstract. She is not playing Tosca but rather skating to the mood of the music, her protram is more strealined and has a fast-paced aspect to it.

    Irina's tosca was a real step up(IMHO) from her don quioxte program and is up there with Carmen as her best LP. Irina's program has slightly different cut of music and has nice mitf section however she does pose and has rest breaks in her cheorgaphy.

    Michelle is NOT playing Tosca rather she is the living embodyment of Angst in the music. Michelle's program despite what some on the internet say has in-betweens that are very subtle and nuanced.

    Both are different as they both work for each skater but for different reasons. Irina couldn't skate to Michelle's program. And Michelle could't skate to Irina's program, they are just too different. For Michelle Tosca, has good company: added to names like salome and Taj, and Lrya!!!

  8. #8
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    You have to know by now that I hate Tosca for figure skating.

    Irina, imo, got no where near what Tosca was all about. She missed the entire essense of that diva. But Irina had good tricks for figure skating, and I liked that.

    There is no need to compare skating Toscas when the great Callas sang it to perfection. But then, I'm a bit older that you.

    Joe

  9. #9
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I don't really remember either and I saw Michelle's twice in 2 days Neither did much for me...

  10. #10
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    the only way I can compare the two are this way
    Irina's Tosca - hated it
    Michelle's Tosca - loved it

  11. #11
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    Remember Irina's Tosca from 2002?

    My opinion:

    Irina's---didn't like it.
    Michelle's---didn't like it.

    Although Michelle had a wonderful skate, no question about that, I do nt like the Tosca music.

    Dizzy

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    Irina's 'character' seemed all wrong to me. Floria Tosca never seemed to me a hair-puller and face-grabber. She is a very intense character, but not in weak and obvious way like that. Tosca was too intelligent and yes, diva-like to show her emotions in such an ingenue-ish manner.

    Not only that, but Irina often didn't stay in character. She would forget and smile while stroking, for instance. She'd turn the character off and on throughout the piece.

    Michelle wasn't portraying the character of Tosca herself, but the dark intensity of the opera. She was intense from the beginning to the end and never stepped out of the character of the music.

  13. #13
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    But you noticed it AND brought up the point. Wish we could add you to the commentators, I you've got a great eye
    Seriously Rgirl, keep complimenting me like that and I'll have to ask you to marry me

    You give me too much credit, it was just an observation from a major Kwaniac who was looking for something positive in Tosca, lol.

  14. #14
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    you two are too funny

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